April 2, 2011
As union thugs protested in the street to drumbeats chanting ‘Tell me what Democracy looks like,’ Judge Maryann Sumi became the poster child for the Left when she blocked publication of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s new law which limits the collective bargaining powers of Wisconsin’s public employee unions.
Judge Sumi’s decision temporarily prevents Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law (publication is required for the new legislation to take full effect), at least until she can rule on a complaint brought by the Democratic District Attorney of Dane County.
Walker’s collective bargaining measure was originally part of a larger budget-repair bill. However, when 14 Senate Democrats shamefully fled the state to prevent a quorum, thereby effectively blocking a full vote, Republicans stripped the collective bargaining portion from the main budget bill and sent it separately through a conference committee, negating the need for a quorum, which is required only for fiscal measures in Wisconsin.
Ozanne alleges in his complaint that the way in which the measure was passed violated the state’s open meeting law, which under normal circumstances requires 24 hours notice before a vote.
“It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the [law],” said Sumi of her decision.
However, as Chief Clerk of the Wisconsin Senate Rob Marchant noted about the procedure used to pass Walker’s measure: “There was some discussion today about the notice provided for the legislature’s conference committee. In special session, under Senate Rule 93, no advance notice is required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board.
“Despite this rule, it was decided to provide a two-hour notice by posting on the bulletin board. My staff, as a courtesy, e-mailed a copy of the notice to all legislative offices at 4:10, which gave the impression that the notice may have been slightly less than 2 hours. Either way, the notice appears to have satisfied the requirements of the rules and statutes.”
Specifically, Rule 93 of the Wisconsin Senate declares:
“Unless otherwise provided by the senate for a specific special, extended or extraordinary session, the rules of the senate adopted for the regular session shall, with the following modifications, apply to each special session called by the governor and to each extended or extraordinary session called by the senate and assembly organization committees or called by a joint resolution approved by both houses. … No notice of hearing before a committee shall be required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and no bulletin of committee hearings shall be published.”
Walker’s collective bargaining measure passed when the Senate was in special session. Either Judge Sumi is (1) aware of this, yet blocked publication of the law anyway out of ideological sympathy with the unions that are bankrupting Wisconsin, in which case she is a political hack of the worst kind; or (2) she is unaware of this, and therefore so shockingly ignorant of Wisconsin laws and legislative mores as to be thoroughly unqualified to serve on the bench in that state.
From the 14 shameless lawmakers who abandoned their post, their constituents, and their constitutional duties when they fled to Illinois to avoid voting, to a district attorney and compliant judge acting in oligarchic fashion to block legitimately passed legislation, liberals in Wisconsin have shown their utter contempt for both democracy and fiscal sanity. Fleabaggers, as they will now be forever known.